Informed Planning for the Future

Asset Management Planning

Project Description

Asset Management Plans take a look at the systems as a whole and begin to prioritize what actions need to be taken in the future to maintain the systems. The key components in Asset Management Plans include:

  • Asset Inventory and Condition Assessment
  • Level of Service
  • Criticality of Assets
  • Operation and Maintenance Strategies/Revenue Structure
  • Capital Improvement Plan

Prein&Newhof has helped 43 communities with asset management plans. Following is a review of the process we use.

Asset Inventory

The first step is to inventory all assets that are functionally or financially significant to the wastewater system and stormwater systems, usually with survey-quality GPS. All assets that have fixed geographic locations such as pipes, manholes, and major fixed equipment are recorded in a GIS along with data regarding date of installation, material, and other physical characteristics for each asset.

Condition Assessment

The next step is to document the conditions of inventoried assets with either a pole-mounted zoom camera (looking down each pipe from the manholes) or with in-line closed circuit television (CCTV) from manhole to manhole. The zoom camera method provides an economical initial condition assessment of the pipes. Pipes that had potentially significant deficiencies are flagged and followed-up with full in-line CCTV inspections.

Using the zoom camera data, we rate pipes 1-5 (5 being the worst) based on several factors such as joint conditions, wall corrosion, and infiltration. Pipes inspected with CCTV were rated using the PACP system (Pipeline Assessment Certification Program) which were then used to derive a composite Risk of Failure rating of 1-5 for each pipe.

Manholes and storm structures were visually inspected and rated on a scale of 1-5 based factors related to the condition of castings, steps, and structures.

Level of Service Determination

We recognize that the people served by our system are more than customers: they are the system owners, and our staff are stewards of their system. We held a series of public meetings and workshops to present the results of our condition assessments, review the costs for meeting various Levels of Service, and reviewed the rate impacts of those options. Based on the input received during those meetings, we establish the community’s Level of Service goals.

Consequence of Failure

Using zoning and utility maps, we also give assets a Consequence of Failure (CoF) of 1–5 (5 being the worst) based on potential damage to adjacent utilities, transportation network, and the surrounding property/environment. The magnitude of the potential service disruption is also a factor. Assets with the higher rankings for Consequence of Failure were those that:

  • Provide service to a significant portion of the system
  • Are under major roads
  • Are adjacent to waterways or significant wetlands

Criticality of Assets

Criticality is the product of an asset’s Risk of Failure (RoF) and Consequence of Failure (CoF). Criticality drives an asset’s action priority and help inform the comprehensive Capital Improvement Plan.

Revenue Structure

Historical operating expenses were reviewed using current audit and budget information. Based on that information, a “Test Year” is developed that reflected a baseline cost. The baseline costs included currently budgeted expenses, debt service, and leveling for base operating cost.

The CIP provides refined cost projections for the first 10 years of the financial analysis.

Capital Improvement Plan

The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) contains action timelines for maintenance/repair/replacement of assets using the Criticality ratings. Because the wastewater collection system assets and storm water system assets share physical space with other asset systems such as steam lines, roadway, and drinking water, it was imperative that the CIP process coordinate actions on these systems.

The CIP also has individual project scopes to maximize coordination of work on various assets and minimize overall costs. The CIP projects include improvements to the wastewater system, storm water system, drinking water system, steam lines, and road system.


Brian Vilmont, PE
Project Manager


In 2014, many Michigan communities received a grant from the MDEQ (now EGLE) SAW program to prepare a Wastewater Asset Management Plan and/or a Stormwater Asset Management Plan. EGLE continues to provide funding for capital improvements from its State Revolving Fund.